A typical scene of shopping in Mary St.
A typical scene of shopping in Mary St. Renee Pilcher

Mary St revamp starts in the trees

THE first tangible steps towards revamping Mary St and attracting more shops and shoppers were taken yesterday, with Gympie Regional Council agreeing to string key trees in the street with fairy lights.

The move is a "test case" and only part of the sweeping plans to revitalise Gympie's city heart. It follows a strong push from within Mary St itself, including a petition containing hundreds of signatures.

Fairy lights will be strung in six trees at the Gold City Centre Stage, one tree at the intersection of Mary and Monkland Sts and two trees at the Mary St Fiveways intersection.

The council may also eventually let businesses string and maintain their own fairy lights in trees fronting their stores.

The success of the fairy lights in creating a unique night time atmosphere in Mary St will be evaluated in a year's time.

A staff report on the project said filling the whole street with fairy lights or bud lights would cost too much.

It instead suggested a staged approach, beginning with the selective stringing of lights at either end of the street and at the centre stage.

"These locations represent key decision making points for pedestrians and motorists," the report said.

"Proposed lighting focuses on visually prominent locations and will serve as a way-finding cue to assist directing visitors into Mary St.

"It should be noted that this would be a less comprehensive outcome than the options previously identified. This option should only be seen as an interim solution to complement a longer term plan for lighting up Mary St, if successful.

"However, this approach would still assist to create some initial interest, physically signify the start of the Town Centre's revitalisation and add to the visual appeal of Mary St at night.

"With a targeted lighting design, lighting the trees at Gold City Centre Stage can be actioned in a short time-frame as council already has power supply provided to this area.

"This area is also notably dark at night due to existing up-lighting that is not currently operational, and as such would benefit from the enhanced safety an improved lighting solution would provide."

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